CAVERSHAM AND DISTRICT
RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
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Third Thames Bridge


Discussions for an additional bridge over the Thames date back over a long period. They are heavily complicated by the need to involve 4 public authorities:

  • Reading Borough Council
  • Wokingham Borough Council
  • Oxfordshire County Council
  • South Oxfordshire District Council.

CADRA is a member of the Thames Crossings Councils Group, TCCG. Membership also includes Parish and District Councils in South Oxfordshire. The group exists to put pressure on the 4 public authorities to provide an additional bridge and to influence the way in which this is done.


As a result of our involvement with the TCCG, CADRA formulated a statement:

CADRA - Position Statement in relation to Third Bridge

Background

The provision of a third bridge over the river Thames at Reading has been on the agenda for many years. It is widely perceived as being a solution to Caversham’s traffic problems, although the possible effect of additional traffic in South Oxfordshire has been a major worry. There has always been the added problem of different local authorities, with different agendas, and often of different political parties, to the north and south of the most likely river crossing positions. It is likely to be many years before a new bridge is constructed.

Location

The ‘preferred’ location for a third bridge has been at the end of the A329M in Thames Valley Business Park, leading across to a junction on the Henley Road near Caversham Park Village. The only other site being seriously considered in recent years has been from near Chazy Farm at the end of The Warren, to Wigmore Lane. Previous locations included near Caversham Waitrose in the 1960’s before Waitrose was built, and prior to that a crossing from Green lane (off The Warren) to Cow Lane was considered.

CADRA Position

We believe that the advantages and disadvantages of a bridge need to be clearly and openly investigated so that the best course of action can be taken and the necessary plans made or any alternative measures taken.

  • We believe the limited Thames river crossings compound the traffic problems in Caversham and Reading.
  • We believe that the main purpose of a new bridge should be to relieve Caversham, Sonning and Reading centres of through traffic, although some of the present traffic may be relatively local.
  • A new bridge should mainly deal with relocating some of the existing traffic currently on the Reading, Caversham and Sonning bridges. We would envisage that Sonning bridge would be restricted to very low traffic flows.
  • A new bridge should be designed to attract the minimum of additional new through and local traffic.
  • We are aware that a new bridge would need some improved link roads, but consider that these should be kept to the minimum. Any associated road improvements need to be presented in conjunction with a bridge proposal.
  • We are concerned about the possible effects on the centre of Caversham.
  • We are aware of the concerns of Caversham Park Village and Sonning Common.
  • We understand the problems faced by the villages of Sonning and Whitchurch.
  • We value the green space in and around Caversham, including the land in South Oxfordshire.

We would like to believe that a satisfactory solution can be found to reduce the current traffic problems without creating worse ones. However, any decision by CADRA to support (or object to) a proposal would depend on the proposals put forward and the supporting traffic and other information. We would encourage full and open discussion.

CADRA August 2006

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